Section 28, the law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities in UK schools, was repealed last week.

The Tory party moved to replace the law with a system allowing parents to determine their children’s sex education, but the proposal was defeated in the Lords by 180 to 130.

Section 28 was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1988 as part of the Local Government Act. The clause stated a local authority shall not (a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality; (b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

Carli Harper-Penman, the lesbian, gay and bisexual officer of the UK National Union of Students, told The Guardian the demise of Section 28 will mean that LGB students at school and beyond can get access to the information that they need, and teachers will finally be able to talk about LGB issues without fear of recrimination.

The clause was last contested in February and July of 2000, when legislation to repeal it was twice defeated in the House of Lords. Scottish parliament abolished the law by a vote of 99 to 17 in June 2000.

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